Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has called on the Police to checkmate plans by some opposition politicians to import thugs into the state from neighbouring states with a view to causing mayhem during the September 10 governorship election in the state.
Speaking during a visit to him by the Assistant Inspector-General in charge of Zone 5, Benin City, Adeyinka Kolawole Sodipo, Governor Oshiomhole the Police must provide a level-playing field for all parties to ensure a credible electoral exercise.
According to him: “All we need is a level-playing field. We have information about people from other neighbouring states under your Zone, who are planning to locate to Edo for the purpose of the election. Some were deployed in the state to register during the continuous voter registration exercise so that they can come and cause trouble on election day.
“We have a huge challenge in having to ensure that thugs are not imported from the neighbouring states to cause mayhem and discredit the election.
“I believe that an enabling playing field can be achieved regardless of an individual or group that plots to undermine the process.”
The Governor, who chided the opposition party for calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that the election in the state is not “inconclusive”, said he takes the statement seriously, adding that the state has had no history of inconclusive election since 1999, insisting that the statement credited to the opposition party is indicative of their plan to disrupt the exercise and make it inconclusive.
He praised the Police and other security agencies in the state for the peace and tranquillity recorded in the state, saying: “Edo people feel that the state is more secure than it was some years ago.”
Oshiomhole said kidnappers and other criminals have relocated from the state.
In his address, Sodipo thanked the Governor the cordial relationship with security agencies in the state, saying: “With what my Commissioner of Police briefed me, you are doing very very well for the Police.”
He said this is a critical period in the Niger Delta and the State, adding: “We will provide a conducive environment and a level playing ground.”